Atlantic crossing 2019, 3rd week

10-12-2019, 16º 03.901N 52º 18.597W
Tired of the rolly wing on wing sailing

Today we had enough of the rolly sailing wing on wing with sails flapping hard now and then. We are now reaching and zick zacking along the route. Much more stable boat and easier to be on board now and we can also get more sleep. For the moment we prioritize comfort over a shorter time at sea. Think there is less strain on the boat as well since reaching creates a more constant pressure on the sails and rigging gear.
Today we had nice and sunny weather and more wind than yesterday. Think we will arrive in Saint Lucia on Saturday.

11-12-2019, 15º 37.306N 54º 36.528W
In Saint Lucia time zone

The last night we sailed into a new time zone, GMT-4, the same time zone that is used in Saint Lucia and the rest of the Caribbean, at least the islands we plan to visit.
We also crossed track with another ARC boat and according to the AIS, it could be a close passage of a couple of hundred meters only. To make sure they saw us and to clarify how we shall pass each other, we make several VHF calls but without any response. It was not until we used a searchlight on our sails that they reacted and changed course and passed behind us. After the passage, we make another VHF call, but no response this time either. Maybe their VHF was malfunctioning or so.
We also got a couple of squalls with a lot of rain and wind (35 knots) and since we can furl our sails from the cockpit and are reaching, it’s easy for one person to reef the genoa and the main.
In one of the squalls, we set a new speed record for Sally, 16.5 knots, the incredible feeling when she accelerated down a 3 m swell in 35 knots of wind and the sound of the water cascade from bow wave was furious. All was over in less than 10 seconds or so. Wow and phew that all went well.
Today we have good wind for reaching along our route, we can sail almost parallel to the route in 20 knots of wind. The sun is mostly behind clouds but it’s still warm, around 30, so we drink a lot of water. Speaking of water, our water maker suddenly stopped when we were producing the daily amount of water. Maybe we have got seaweed in the strainer for the water intake. Since we always have a full water tank, we have plenty of water for the rest of the sailing to Saint Lucia. Will check the strainer and test the water maker after that, more in the next blog. Now Johan is serving dinner so it’s time to stop writing.

12-12-2019, 15º 01.291N 57º 39.877W
180 nm left before we make landfall

The last 180 nm, before we make landfall in Rodney Bay on Saint Lucia, seems to be challenging. The weather forecast promises light wind tomorrow and still some swell. Will cause a lot of flapping sails and motoring.
The last night was a squally night and so was this evening. During my watch, we got the longest squall so far, one hour of rain and 25 knots of wind.
It’s an intense experience sailing a rushing sailboat in total darkness and all I hear is the rain and the breaking waves around the boat. Each time I watched the radar, the squall was centered above us and it felt as it has caught Sally and will never let us go. But after one hour of madness, it suddenly stopped raining and I could see the difference between sea and air. What a relief.
We are sailing wing on wing again, it’s faster and we hope to make landfall during daylight on Saturday this way.
Johan made us a delicious apple pie and Carina had us eat porridge to dinner :expressionless:
I look forward to the dinner tomorrow that she promised will be more inspiring. Cheers from Jonas, Carina, and Johan.

13-12-2019, 14º 27.893N 59º 57.454W
Last day at sea before landfall

This day started with a big squall with a lot of wind and rain and good speed. We have good wind until lunch when it decreases to below 15 knots. Have tried to catch a fish with no success.
Since we made so good progress the last 24 hours and the wind stayed close to 15 knots today, we will arrive in Saint Lucia this evening. Our last dinner on the Atlantic crossing was our favorite dish, meatballs with mashed potatoes and cream sauce with lingonberry jam. We have put the Atlantic crossing champagne in the fridge (a gift from Pia and Christer, our old neighbors in Västerås) and we look forward to tasting it later this evening.

13-12-2019, 14º 09.971N 60º 55.192W
Arrived to Rodney Bay

We have done it!
The Atlantic Ocean is big, very big when you travel in 12 km/hour, but now it is behind us and it has been a fantastic experience. The feeling of sailing 5000 km over an open ocean is fantastic.
We were welcomed by a representative of Saint Lucia. We got a couple of Rom Punch, yeah, we are in the Caribbean. The rum punch is finished, the Atlantic crossing champagne is empty and we listen to the cicadas and talk about the crossing. Life is beautiful…

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